34 Facts About Uruguay

1. The predominant tribe at the moment of the arrival of Europeans was the Charrua people, when the Portuguese first established Colonia do Sacramento in 1680; Uruguay was colonized by Europeans late relative to neighboring countries.

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2. Uruguay is today a democratic constitutional republic, with a president who serves as both head of state and head of government.

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3. Uruguay is the third-best country on the continent in terms of Human Development Index, GDP growth, innovation, and infrastructure.

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4. Uruguay is a founding member of the United Nations, OAS, and Mercosur.

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5. Country name of Uruguay derives from the namesake Rio Uruguay, from the Indigenous Guarani language.

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6. Uruguay was first inhabited around 13,000 years ago by hunter-gatherers.

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7. The political scene in Uruguay became split between two parties: the conservative Blancos headed by the second President Manuel Oribe, representing the agricultural interests of the countryside; and the liberal Colorados (Reds) led by the first President Fructuoso Rivera, representing the business interests of Montevideo.

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8. The present-day State Railways Administration of Uruguay maintains 2,900 kms of extendable railway network.

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9. Uruguay is the only country in South America situated entirely south of the Tropic of Capricorn.

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10. Uruguay is a representative democratic republic with a presidential system.

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11. Uruguay is a unitary state: justice, education, health, security, foreign policy and defense are all administered nationwide.

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12. In March 2020, Uruguay got a conservative government, meaning the end of 15 years of left-wing leadership under the Broad Front coalition.

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13. Uruguay ranked 27th in the Freedom House "Freedom in the World" index.

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14. Uruguay is divided into 19 departments whose local administrations replicate the division of the executive and legislative powers.

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15. On 15 March 2011, Uruguay became the seventh South American nation to officially recognize a Palestinian state, although there was no specification for the Palestinian state's borders as part of the recognition.

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16. In 2017, Uruguay signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

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17. In 1994 and 1995, Uruguay faced economic difficulties caused by the liberalization of foreign trade, which increased the trade deficit.

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18. Uruguay was ranked 65th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, down from 62nd in 2019.

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19. Tourism industry in Uruguay is an important part of its economy.

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20. Cultural experiences in Uruguay include exploring the country's colonial heritage, as found in Colonia del Sacramento.

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21. One of the main natural attractions in Uruguay is Punta del Este.

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22. Uruguay is the Latin American country that receives the most tourists in relation to its population.

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23. In 2017 the average total fertility rate across Uruguay was 1.70 children born per woman, below the replacement rate of 2.1, it remains considerably below the high of 5.76 children born per woman in 1882.

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24. Education in Uruguay is secular, free, and compulsory for 14 years, starting at the age of 4.

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25. Uruguay is part of the One Laptop per Child project, and in 2009 became the first country in the world to provide a laptop for every primary school student, as part of the Plan Ceibal.

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26. Uruguay drew from both Timbuktu and Mykonos to create his best-known work: his home, hotel and atelier Casapueblo near Punta del Este.

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27. Early classical music in Uruguay showed heavy Spanish and Italian influence, but since the 20th century a number of composers of classical music, including Eduardo Fabini, Vicente Ascone, and Hector Tosar, have made use of Latin American musical idioms.

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28. Meat being the principal dish, due to Uruguay being one of the world's largest producers of quality meat.

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29. One of the most consumed spreadables in Uruguay is Dulce de leche.

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30. Uruguay won gold at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games and again in 1928 in Amsterdam.

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31. Uruguay won the inaugural tournament on home soil in 1930 and again in 1950, famously defeating home favourites Brazil in the final match.

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32. Uruguay performed very creditably in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, having reached the semi-final for the first time in 40 years.

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33. Uruguay exported 1,414 football players during the 2000s, almost as many players as Brazil and Argentina.

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34. Uruguay hosted the official Basketball World Cup for the 1967 FIBA World Championship and the official Americas Basketball Championship in 1988, 1997 and is a host of the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup.

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